The Building in Public How-To Guide

At Chapter One, we like to say we invest in cults. But what does that really mean? Here are a few examples from our portfolio:

Cults, excellent marketing, or simply a strong brand community — call it what you want, but there’s no doubt that these products have sparked excitement across a growing user base. The question now becomes, How do I foster an experience like this for my own product? Enter the ever-growing strategy of building in public.

Creating a product isn’t always an easy journey. Pioneered by the likes of Joel Gascoigne of Buffer and Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt, the idea of building in public leans into this authenticity, encouraging founders to share their journey—including the struggles along the way. Products constantly grow and evolve; building in public allows startups to take their audience & community along for the ride.

Why Build in Public?

“Authenticity consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of the situation, in assuming the responsibilities and risks that it involves, in accepting it in pride or humiliation, sometimes in horror and hate.” — Jean Paul Sartre

Building in public:

Success Stories

Building in public allows founders to build teams, drive widespread support, attract investors, and foster a community of users and early adopters. Currently, some of the most well-known leaders of the “building in public” phenomenon are Austen Allred, Founder & CEO of Lambda School, Domm, Founder & CEO of Fast, and Suhail, Founder & CEO of Mighty:

The Building in Public Playbook

What does this playbook look like in action? Below is an excerpt from a piece I recently cowrote:

[Note: this is an excerpt. To read the article in full, click here.]

Today, there’s an abundance of tools to empower creators to build in public. Arguably, the most impactful tool in this space is Twitter, which allows people to personally engage with others and broadcast information to the masses. Other resources include Medium (long-form storytelling), Intercom (communication & direct access to users), Patreon (audience-based fundraising), and many more.

There’s a growing trend towards transparency. Will you be a part of it?

This is a Chapter One How-To Guide. Stay up-to-date with our inaugural Product Club cohort by following us on Twitter and checking out our public Notion notebook.

Investor at @BessemerVP. Alum @Stanford. Follow me @gaby_goldberg.